Dear Ajarn.com, I really enjoy reading the letters and editorials on your website. Unlike expat English teacher-oriented websites for a lot of other nearby countries, it seems like this one really fishes out the pertinent issues and attempts to take an object stance.
I lived in Thailand and taught there for a little over a year. I worked at two places: A university and the EP department of a high school. I am married to a Thai national, and although we will surely visit her family there, I pray that I will never have to work there again. My beef with working there pretty much echoes what others have said: two-faced Thai teachers and coworkers, bad workplace communication, hostile and invasive supervisors that seem eager to see you go, lies about pay and conditions, generally low pay, improper or non-existent support, inconvenient and unreasonable visa system, etc.
The main reason I'm writing this letter, of course, is not to flatten the poor horse any more because certainly he is nearly paper thin by now. Rather I'd like to provide a very respectful criticism of your editorial section here.
Often prospective teachers or others write in to inquire about salaries and working conditions for jobs there in Thailand. Often those inquiries are about pay being relative to the cost of living and so on. What I notice is that all too often, the response to the inquiries make it appear that the normal situation for a teacher with normal teaching qualifications ie: a TEFL cert, Bachelors degree, some teaching experience, etc would allow that teacher to make upwards of 40~50k baht per month.
For example, about a month ago, you ran a story comparing someone working in Bangkok who made 60,000 baht with someone working in the South who made 40,000 baht. The article seemed to represent these figures as if they purported to a status quo (I believe in the end, the conclusion was made that 40,000 a month in the South was not enough money to survive). In stark contrast, however, a brief scan of the jobs being advertised here on your website brushstrokes a very different picture.
Most jobs here pay 30,000 baht at best - and more still pay in the neighborhood of 20,000 baht. It is rare to find one that pays 40,000 baht in Bangkok, but there are a few jobs at business English schools for adults and so on. Universities in Thailand almost universally pay between 25,000 and 30,000, with a few exceptions.
So, could you please adjust your explanations about what the salaries are like in Thailand, in the future? I am sure a lot of people who plan to go there would really appreciate that.